Police deploy TASER on aggravated kidnapping suspect

ST. GEORGE — Police deployed a TASER on a Washington City man who was charged with first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping Friday morning after the man allegedly held a female acquaintance at knifepoint and directed her to drive him to another location.

Police were dispatched to the area of Vernon Worthen Park located at 300 S. 400 East in St. George on a report of a man possibly experiencing a mental health issue, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.

Tyler James Hoffman, of Washington, Utah, booking photo posted June 3, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Tyler James Hoffman, of Washington, Utah, booking photo posted June 3, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The man, identified as Tyler James Hoffman, and a female acquaintance were stopped at the park when they spotted an officer in the area.

As the female was pouring water into the engine of her vehicle, Hoffman allegedly pulled a knife from his pocket and ordered the female acquaintance to drive him away from the area, the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement.

“He directed the tip of the blade toward her and then said, ‘Get in the f—— car and drive!’” the officer wrote in the statement.

The female was able to notify another individual of the situation via text message, the report stated. That individual contacted police.

While en route to the area, police learned that Hoffman had an active, third-degree felony extraditable warrant for his arrest issued out of Texas for unauthorized use of a vehicle, according to the statement.

Police located the vehicle which the two were traveling in near the park and attempted to pull the vehicle over, according to the statement. The vehicle eventually pulled over on the east side of Main Street just north of 300 South.

Hoffman reportedly got out of the car and began walking north on a sidewalk on Main Street and refused to comply with officers who were telling him to stop, the report stated.

Police escort a Washington City man to a patrol car after deploying a TASER on the man and arresting him on a first-degree felony count of aggravated kidnapping, 200 S. Main Street, St. George, Utah, June 3, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News
Police escort a Washington City man to a patrol car after deploying a TASER on the man and arresting him on a first-degree felony count of aggravated kidnapping, 200 S. Main Street, St. George, Utah, June 3, 2016 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

“Tyler didn’t comply,” the officer stated, “and presented a knife which he raised to his throat. He held the knife to his throat for a few seconds as he continued northbound on Main Street.”

By this time, multiple officers were on scene giving Hoffman commands to stop and drop the knife but Hoffman continued walking, the report stated. An officer subsequently deployed a TASER on Hoffman at the corner of 200 South and Main Street.

Hoffman was safely taken into police custody and was transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Hoffman of first-degree felony aggravated kidnapping and class A misdemeanor failure to stop at the command of law enforcement.

As this report is published, Hoffman remains in police custody, according to booking information.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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